Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Sports Day in Glenmornan - Annie May Harte

The annual sports was a great event for the local community in the 1950s. We had been preparing for weeks, our teacher helped us with picking our characters for the fancy dress, she often made up our costumes for us. Finely the big day came, we first attended mass in St. Joseph's Chapel, and after dinner we all met up at the old Mill House where the band stored their drums.

The Glenmornan Fife and Drum band led the parade as we made our way around the mill dam, the echo of the bands sounding through the old silent Mill House as we made our way to the Quarry Brae, and turned towards Moor Lough.

As we neared Moor Lough a large crowd had gathered at the shore nestled among the far off Sperrin mountains and the Donoboe, Ballycarry and the Craignagapple Hills.

The fancy dress girls and boys made their way toward the amusements, the bigger girls went to help at the tea stall, where they made up the sandwiches and buns and put them into plastic bags to be handed with the tea at one and six per bag. The housewives made their way to the rickety wheel where the tickets were sixpence each or three for a shilling. There was other entertainment as well; hula hoops where you threw the hoop and hoped to win a prize, straws hard luck and try again, while the men made their way to the rifle range.

As the day went on the crowd made their way to the big lorry where the stage was the trailer where music and the Irish dancers entertained everyone.

The highlight of the day was the men's seven a side tug of war where the local team met some of the neighboring teams, we cheered our local team while they heaved and pulled the anchor man laying on the end of the rope, his body nearly reaching the water edge.

Come late evening we made our way back home tired and weary of our day's excitement.

In later years Pat Gillespie and family used to come to the sports day and entertain us to water skiing across the shore.

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